Yesterday we drove for 2 hours to Iowa City to attend one of those overrated holidays, Cinco de Mayo. Ruben’s a friend of ours been hosting this misunderstood celebration for a number of years, but this is my first time visiting. Cinco de Mayo commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Sounds patriotic, right? Probably why I imagined the celebration to be something I’m familiar with, like our Indonesian Independence Day celebration every August 17th.

This was a small scale Cinco de Mayo celebration between friends. I understand that. Nothing too fancy. In fact, Ruben (and Chuck) did try to keep the spirit going by having green, white, and red color scattered everywhere.  But, the color of the flag of Mexico wasn’t the only thing that’s scattered. Booze, was too. In fact, you’ll be able to find booze almost at every corner of the backyard (and the house!). There’s a big jug of margarita with a bucket of ice plus salt and lemons on a long table in the basement, a beer keg in the backyard plus more beer bottles in a cooler. I happened to sit right next to the keg, and man… that thing kept on pumping. I shall rename this celebration: Drinko de Mayo instead. Pretty sure almost every bar is doing this drinking hoopla in the name of cinco de Mayo. 

Even though the main theme of this party’s (or seemed to be) about drinking, kids were taken care of. A ten year old pinata was filled with candies and stuff, with colorful little bags handy to be stuffed once the pinata’s busted. Colorful balls, balloons, freesbies, hula hoops, bubbles, and maracas were ready to play with. From babies to teens, they’re all having fun at the party. Moms and the babies were on the grass, picnic style. Dads standing close talking about manly stuff, with beer bottles on hand. Bigger kids running around, screaming and giggling, throwing balls to each other. I called out my kids’ names so many times worrying that the ball would hit the babies or someone else’s head. The other big kids’ moms may not care about their kids manner, but I do. I know it’s an informal party, but I don’t want someone’s baby got hurt because my kids weren’t paying attention.

A party wouldn’t be as fun without music, right? This year, Ruben hired the old timer [Iowan] rock n’ roll band, The Escorts/The Do’s and The Dont’s to entertain the guests. I was hoping for a mariachi band. Adults and kids were dancing and singing along. Dogs were howling and barking. Then all of the sudden, I realized that my daughter was standing next to the speaker by the band; with a sombrero on and banging maracas, in rhythm with the band.

I thought, “Err… is the band really okay with this?”
But then I heard somebody shrieked, “Ooooooh… is that your daughter? She’s tuning with the band. How cuuuuute.”
And the band didn’t seem to mind her at all. In fact, the guitarist asked her to move right in the middle of the ‘stage’ and occasionally would ‘jam’ with her.
When I asked Davi in between breaks, why’s she not smiling or singing and have a serious face, she answered, “Well Mom, the other band players weren’t smiling either. And I don’t know how to sing the song. I like it but I don’t know the words.”
My 6 year old daughter took this ‘job’ seriously. She kept on banging her maracas and standing by the band, occasionally dance a little bit (bet she didn’t want to outdo the original members of the band).
For two hours (with 15 minutes break in between), she’s jamming with the band. A bigger girl decided to join her but it didn’t last very long. Dante was also tring to copy her, with the pinata stick as his guitar. Didn’t last very long either. Davi kept on going.

At the last break, like 9:15 pm or so, I asked Davi if she’s tired and ready to go home. She said, “I need to stay, Mom. The band isn’t done, is it? Can we wait until it’s over?”
Wow… talking about dedication here. A friend joked, “I think your daughter should ask for a cut of the band’s payment later.”

10:00 pm the band’s finally done with their encore. Party’s over. Davi got a lot of compliments from the rest of the guests and a big proud hug from me and hubby. When we’re walking to our car, she tugged my shirt and whispered, “Mom, they gave me a dollar.” The band leader paid her a dollar. My daughter’s first pay check. Awwww. Her face showed uncertainty whether I’d be pissed or not. I gave her a pat on her shoulder and told her that she did good. Later on in the car, I asked if she even enjoy her gig with the band. “I do. It was fun. Can I do it again, Mom? But only if there’s not too many people watching. And I don’t want to sing, I’ll do the instrument.”

Heck… my daughter do me proud. I won’t ask anything fancy from my kids, like a medal or a trophy. Small stuff like this is just as cool.